It is time to abandon “development” goals and demand a post-2030 Utopia

By Julia Schöneberg and Mia Kristin Häckl

These are troubled times. Times of multiple, interrelated crises that bring to the fore the injustices, inequalities, and racisms that are not new, but continue to persist and become increasingly hard to ignore.

The SDGs started off ambitiously and claimed to set a mark for a new era in which all countries would be unified in a universal – shared but differentiated – quest to develop. Much has been critiqued in terms of how the goals are formulated and implemented. Continue reading “It is time to abandon “development” goals and demand a post-2030 Utopia”

Bridging EU- & Postdevelopment Studies: Four Avenues

By Sarah Delputte and Jan Orbie   | EADI/ISS Blog Series

In February 2019, we pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones to participate in a panel on “Re-thinking, Re-defining, Re-positioning: “Development” and the Question of “Alternatives”, convened by Julia Schöneberg at the Development Days Conference in Helsinki, in a first attempt to look at EU development policy from a postdevelopment perspective. As scholars studying the EU’s Development Policy we usually try to take a critical approach towards EU Development. However, and perhaps embarrassingly, postdevelopment debates were new to us. Continue reading “Bridging EU- & Postdevelopment Studies: Four Avenues”

‘Justice’ not ‘aid’ for the Global South

By Koen Bogaert, Julie Carlier, Brecht De Smet, Marlies Casier, Dorien Vanden Boer and Bernard Mazijn

Development cooperation does not work. It has never worked. So why not flush the European DG Development down the drain? That was the conclusion of a recent piece published by European researchers Jan Orbie and Sarah Delputte. The danger of this conclusion is that Europe would ignore its historic accountability and the problems it has created. This is why we want to engage with some of the points that our colleagues have touched upon. Where does this idea of Europe needing to ‘develop’ the rest of the world come from? What is left unsaid when we talk about development aid? And what would a post development era look like if we would really listen to voices from the Global South? Continue reading “‘Justice’ not ‘aid’ for the Global South”

Challenges to EU Development Policy: Paradigm Lost or Stretched?

by Sarah Delputte and Jan Orbie

European Union (EU) development policy seems plagued by many challenges from within and outside. We argue that underlying these challenges lay more fundamental problems with the Eurocentric, modernist and colonial paradigm of EU development policy. We witness some cracks in the pillars of the current paradigm, namely in the form of policy failures, epistemic changes, and power shifts. However, this seems unlikely to entail radical paradigm change. Instead of moving in the direction of post-development, we merely observe experimental approaches stretching the prevailing paradigm. Continue reading “Challenges to EU Development Policy: Paradigm Lost or Stretched?”

Why We Need Alternatives to Development

By Ashish Kothari, Ariel Salleh, Arturo Escobar, Federico Demaria, and Alberto Acosta

The seductive nature of development rhetoric, sometimes called developmentality or developmentalism, has been internalized across virtually all countries. Decades after the notion of development spread around the world, only a handful of countries that were called ‘underdeveloped’ or ‘developing’, now really qualify as ‘developed’. Others struggle to emulate the North’s economic template, and all at enormous ecological and social cost. The problem lies not in lack of implementation, but in the conception of development as linear, unidirectional, material and financial growth, driven by commodification and capitalist markets. Continue reading “Why We Need Alternatives to Development”